Re: [gaia] Basic Free Internet Access

Jane Coffin <> Sat, 05 December 2015 14:16 UTC

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From: Jane Coffin <>
To: Arjuna Sathiaseelan <>, gaia <>, Don Means <>
Thread-Topic: [gaia] Basic Free Internet Access
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Subject: Re: [gaia] Basic Free Internet Access
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Hi Arjuna -

Many governments are trying but bureaucracy often gets its in the way or other "priorities".

I am adding Don Means to this list.  I just met him the other day.
He has some links to innovative work they are doing to help create more connectivity at the local level and increase net to net potential.


From: gaia <<>> on behalf of Arjuna Sathiaseelan <<>>
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 4:01 AM
To: gaia <<>>
Subject: [gaia] Basic Free Internet Access

All -

With all the disasters thats been happening these days -- including the recent one at Chennai -- people are trying to get connected to the Internet. We are now talking to groups in Chennai to put up an adhoc mesh to get some connectivity etc - Power is a major problem. But those with the power are now trying to open up their own WiFi for others to share..But the biggest issue is we are all doing this after the disaster strikes and not proactively!

This makes me think, shouldnt governments create some sort of an emergency network for such events for people to communicate? So like FON, if governments can work with operators and use the existing home access points to open up during emergencies - so that people can access for FREE in proper isolation without interfering with the sharer - wouldnt this be useful? Ofcourse if there is no infrastructure or power then nothing happens or people have to use firechat/opengarden if they have already installed..

this was the idea behind the Public Access WiFi Service (PAWS) project we did here in Cambridge few years ago ( this wasnt greatly successful because we didnt target the disaster usecase -- but now thinking if such a system indeed existed - this maybe worthwhile including the syrian refugee crisis and the refugees wanting to connect and no money/credit cards/no credit rating etc..

This solely is not enough - but I think this could also be an enabler especially when there are national emergencies..

So the idea is enable all WiFi access points to open up by default controlled by the operators with the governments subsidising the connectivity during national emergencies. We could probably even mesh these access points but I think we would end up needing some long range antennas.

 we could probably do some fancy things like but lets leave that for the moment..

Arjuna Sathiaseelan
N4D Lab: